Music » Livewire

Lee Rocker

Saturday, March 11, at the Beachland Ballroom.

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Any aspiring rockabilly musician who's straddled a bass fiddle onstage in the last 20 years owes Lee Rocker, big time. As one-third of premier retro-rockers the Stray Cats, Rocker reintroduced the "bull bass" to the pop music universe. Armed with a love of rockabilly and blues -- and some early classical music training, courtesy of his parents, both professional musicians -- Rocker schooled a rising generation in the art of slap-bass and the stage strut that goes with it.

Rocker's latest, Racin' With the Devil, is loaded to the gills with glimpses of roadhouses, racetracks, and rockabilly angels or devils. He hardly misses a trick on a set that includes reworked old material as well as newer stuff that stands toe-to-toe with the Cats' fare. Since those glory days, Rocker has proven a formidable frontman in his own right, and he consorts with a top-flight supporting cast -- drummer Jimmy Sage has been with Rocker for seven years, while guitarists Brophy Dale and Buzz Campbell contribute greatly to Devil's success.

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